Grant cash will help save historic St Ives building

The Octagon in St Ives

The Octagon in St Ives - Credit: Archant

Campaigners in St Ives who have been fighting to save an iconic building and fund its restoration are celebrating this week after being awarded a grant for £35,000.

An artist's impression of what the new centre will look like.

An artist's impression of what the new centre will look like. - Credit: Archant

The Save The Octagon group received the money from the Mick George Community Fund, which is a huge boost to their plans to restore the former cattle market and convert it into an indoor market, exhibition and cultural centre for the town.

Campaign group chairman Lissie Wright said: “This fantastic grant has certainly made our plans possible. We are currently in talks with Huntingdonshire District Council about a lease and are hoping that we will soon be in a position to announce the next stage of our project. However, we still need the support of residents as we have a long way to go and more funds to raise.”

The group has already secured funding of £15,000 from local businesses and individuals but needs £40,000 just to carry out all the necessary repair work.

In 2014, HDC, which owns The Octagon, announced it no longer had use for the building, which dates back to 1940s, and a plan to convert it into a restaurant was announced.

Local concerns were expressed by those who wanted the building preserved for community use and the campaign group was set up.

“With the Mick George Community Fund grant, and around £15,000 already donated, Save the Octagon is on the way to restoring this rather sad looking building and turning it into a vibrant indoor market, exhibition and cultural centre, that will welcome local residents and the increasing number of visitors to St Ives,” added Lissie.

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The Mick George Community Fund supports projects delivering significant environmental benefits and providing new or improved community amenities.

The fund has approximately £200,000 available per annum for projects. There are two funding rounds each year, and grants are available for amounts between £5,000 and £35,000.